How we use Mediation in Medical Negligence Claims

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott, Partner
Author:
Geoffrey Simpson-Scott
Partner, Head of Medical Negligence
Date:
03/03/2022

Mediation is an effective way of settling medical negligence claims against the NHS, according to NHS Resolution.

A report released in 2020 by NHS Resolution said mediation gives claimants, patients and their families an opportunity to express concerns that wouldn’t be addressed in other forms of dispute resolution.

Mediation was praised for giving injured patients and their families the chance to receive face-to-face explanations and apologies, as well as ensuring time is spent both listening and responding to their concerns.

In other words, it gives patients and their families a voice at an early stage in the litigation process.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are highly experienced in working to settle cases in a constructive manner. For a free consultation, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors. We may be able to manage your case on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

Call us on 0808 239 6043 or request a callback

What is Mediation?

Mediation offers an alternative method for dispute resolution and is completely confidential. The process will be overseen by a mediator, often an independent third party. The mediator will listen to the issues put forward by both sides and seek to reach an agreement everyone can agree to.

If an agreement is reached, it will become legally binding but if not, the case may be taken forward to the Courts. A judge will then decide the case at trial.

"I am a firm advocate of mediation and all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Medical Negligence cases, and Personal Injury cases generally." - Ian Cohen, Director of Practice Areas and Injury

What are the Benefits?

There are many advantages to using mediation. It can take away a lot of the stress and cost of going to Court and it’s often a much quicker process.

Everything that happens at mediation will remain confidential and there will be the option for you to speak to the mediator either individually or with the other party.

Mediation can also get to the root of the issues affecting you and encourage communication in a way that Court proceedings wouldn’t usually allow. This can often be helpful in providing closure for people who have suffered from medical negligence.

"There is no doubt that mediation works, but it is only applicable to a relatively small number of the total cases brought against the NHS and healthcare in the private sector. Early collaboration between the parties is key, with an understanding of both financial and non-financial remedies that may enable the claim to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion." - Ian Cohen, Director of Practice Areas and Injury

How Successful is Mediation?

A new national mediation service was launched by the NHS in May 2020. As of February 2022, 74 percent of claims are now resolved using this method rather than going down the route of Court Proceedings.

This demonstrates the value of giving people the chance to speak directly to the other party and receive direct apologies or explanations from their healthcare provider and the individual clinician involved in their care.

Many people are coming away from the mediation process satisfied, as NHS Resolution described much of the feedback from participants as “positive and compelling”.

For instance, one person admitted that while they were cynical about it at first, they ended up being “very impressed by the whole process”. Another praised the mediator for encouraging an “exchange of information which may not have been forthcoming but for his involvement, and without which the claim for compensation may not have settled”.

"Mediation puts the patient/claimant at the heart of the claim, focusing on concerns which are very often not ‘all about the money’, and would not be possible to address in any other dispute resolution setting.” – Julienne Vernon, Head of Dispute Resolution and Quality of NHS Resolution

How we can Help

Our Medical Negligence Team are experienced and knowledgeable on all aspects of the mediation process. We can provide expert legal advice at each stage of mediation, so you’ll always know where you stand.

If you’re considering mediation after suffering from medical negligence, we can help you decide whether this process will bring you the best outcome based on your individual circumstances.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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